Update 11/21/09: CLEAR to Start
Posted by Matty on November 22, 2009, 22:54:21, in reply to "Matty's HUDSON MkV, In Progress"
Message modified by board administrator November 28, 2009, 22:16:38
For reason(s) completely unknown, last Sunday I got the bug - hard, and to the exclusion of all else - to start this Italeri kit whose parts, upon my first really purposeful look at them, revealed unusually comprehensive interior details: |
Click on Image to Enlarge Note the kit instructions (frames "2" & "3") show extensive central fuselage internal details - including all bulkheads, radio (and radar?) boxes, all seating, chart table, etc. - going well beyond even the typically good Italeri aircraft interiors I've seen before. No doubt inspired by the visibility afforded by so many fuselage windows - installation of which I am not good at, and it hurt just to look at 'em all - this kit's interior virtually screamed for replacement of all these little, thick pieces of clear styrene with something clearer - and (it was hoped) easier: the wholesale substitution of fuselage side panels with clear thermoplastic, of the type we'd heat-formed with great success in earlier builds, such as my G3M3 Nell, and Boston-II (RAAF A-20 Havoc) (and others to come).
Except this time no heat-forming is required, for these rows of windows along the slab-sided Hudson:
Click on Image to Enlarge The concept (though not the final execution, see below) - is completely summed up in the above pics: on each fuselage side, the entire line of windows is replaced by a continuous clear panel, overlaid by aluminum tape to frame the windows in cutouts made using the original mold as a template. Note the requried clear, flat stock was supplied just perfectly by a supermarket berry container (left, at bottom), whose label was not removed - as to date no solvent I've tried has been able both to dissolve these label glues without any scrubbing - lest the all-important clear finish be scratched - and at the same time not degrade (at least some of) these packaging plastics. (Even my quite benign, Chameleon® brand paint remover. So don't be stingy - to get the pieces you need, just eat more strawberries! )
Wrinkling and other deformation of the foil in the above, motivated a complete (and almost miraculous) do-over, with significantly improved details in execution - and corresponding, major improvement in results:
Click on Image to Enlarge At far left, major shortcomings of the initial attempt (ignore latex maskoid) include not only wrinkled foil - from removal after having been stuck to the fuselage template, while cutting out windows - but also underlying panels not flush with the outer fuselage, in the worst (port side) cases making the foil sag over the cutout, as well as a general loss of adhesion overall. The first and last of these was avoided by retaining the tape's paper backing during window-cutout (right-center), facilitated by the new template of a reconstructed line of the removed mold windows (left-center), set flush into a flat plate.
On the fuselage, much-improved - that is, flush - panel installation (far right) was achieved the second time around by installing larger panels, attached more precisely after being sized more precisely to begin with, via the aid of pencil rubbings (upper-middle) used as exact cutting templates. Also this time, rather than rely on the aluminum tape to cover/flash over any seams whatever, each clear panel was completely (superglue-) puttied in, around its entire periphery (bottom). (And look how clear it is!). This did necessitate some very careful smoothing/shaping:
Click on Image to Enlarge At top, more aluminum tape protects the clear- and kit surfaces on adjacent sides of each seam, as time-consuming (but gratifying!) grinding and smoothing takes the joint down flush - the tape edge signalling precisely when this is achieved, by just starting to take damage, as shown.
At middle, the clear panel cannot be marked for positioning the aluminum window-framing, however this very clarity can be exploited by first connecting an interrupted fuselage panel line with a temporary (masking) tape edge, which is then matched with another tape edge on the inside (bottom), and the outside tape removed. The inside tape line - in this case demarking the bottom of the window line - then remains visible through the panel for positioning of the aluminum, after which it can be removed without a trace. (Pretty slick, huh?)
The net improvement was pronounced:
Click on Image to Enlarge This is how the re-done port side (left) stacked up against the best (starboard side) of the earlier attempt - really no comparison - and so of course the latter was likewise re-done, exactly as described above.
In addition, note that since the aluminum tape/overlays no longer play any role in anchoring/fairing the clear panels, new aluminum can be re-applied/re-attempted as many times as desired! Which is now making me think of building more than one Hudson - and maybe bashing (one out of) my Ventura kit, after all...